Poetry

Poetry

Prayer

I dream of grace. The tongue that might have praised,
that might have sung forgiveness equal to
the sum of all the mercy God shot through
Creation when his stone-sealed Son blazed

awake, the light to light betrayal’s dark
design, is swollen black in the hole that was
a mouth; my brother, Judas, hanged the ark
of his redemption. Still, I dream of grace.

I dream I take him from his tree, and lift
him up to life. Should one betrayal cost
a soul—eternity demand such thrift
of grace the lost remain forever lost—

how then my three denials be forgiven?
Christ, Savior, buy your chosen back for Eden.





Rachel to her midwife

On the barren road you speak my name,
offer me a drink. That morning
at the well Jacob rolled the stone away as
if it were straw. What a man

would do for me then. He told me
“I saw God face to face, yet my life
was spared.” And now you say
“Your son comes,” but your hands

struggle inside me as the owl cries,
and I know this earth will take everything
from me, even the name I give him. Sister,
there is not enough salt in the Dead

Sea for all out tears. Our bodies, destroyed
temples. We are exiles, all of us. I give you
my name for your daughters and their girls
to come, but remember this: a man’s favor

is a heavy offering, it crafts one day into
seven, then multiplies the years. Slams a veil
between sisters. In the end, when you hear
your name called, all you long for is home.







Prodigal

The farmer has shown up with the sun,
the two conspiring to work the land together.

It’s May. Time for blades to dig in.
Furrow a fresh start.

And you’d like to join in. You’d like to whistle
the sun over to you like an obedient dog,

tell it to sit, right there, and stay while you seek
forgiveness. For too long, you’ve been trapped,

burrowing with your bare hands tunnel after dead-
end tunnel, stubborn, refusing to change

direction as you search for the yellow face
of escape to glow before your eyes, unveil

the mysterious egress. Go.
You can see it now. Turn

your hands over like the dirt at your knees,
the soil on that field. And go.

Leave your flashlight behind.















Daughter

I don’t remember. I was twelve, not yet
aware of how a parent dies before
a child’s bewilderment. I lay beset
by fever, lost to life. I will not bore

you reconstructing how they called my name
and wept. They were perhaps more deeply stricken
than some, my father’s leadership a claim
on God’s beneficence. I’ve forgotten—

I don’t remember anger. What stays
with me is waking to voices about
my bed, one voice clear in the haze
of wonder, and Father’s joyous shout.

So long ago now! I live bound by that surprise,
and long to hear again that voice “Daughter, arise."





The empty tomb

      John 20

That woman was the first word spoken
must have taken even the angels by surprise,

who were used to bringing their fiery glory
down to the clanging swords of battlefields,

to priests tugging at their beards
in lamentation, to voices thundering in temples

and muscles hefting stones from mountaintops,
not to a trembling woman whose hair clung

to her neck with tears, who for a moment
held the souls of the nations like a basket of figs.